IS THIS WHAT IRISH PEOPLE WANT?
THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEGUN TO IMPLEMENT ITS PLAN TO REPLACE CASH PAYMENTS TO CERTAIN GROUPS OF SOCIAL WELFARE RECIPIENTS WITH WHAT THEY CALL 'DIRECT PROVISION'. WHAT THIS BASICALLY MEANS IS THAT SOME PEOPLE IN RECEIPT OF SUPPLEMENTARY WELFARE ALLOWANCE ARE - INSTEAD OF RECEIVING THEIR PAYMENTS IN CASH - BEING MOVED OUT OF DUBLIN, PUT INTO ACCOMMODATION WITH MEALS PROVIDED, AND GIVEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF 'POCKET MONEY'.
This scheme has been introduced for asylum seekers. Up to this asylum seekers have been entitled to the same social welfare payments as homeless Irish people - the Supplementary Welfare Allowance, paid through the Eastern Health Boardís Community Welfare Officers
The government claims that this new system is being introduced because asylum seekers are coming to Ireland to avail of our ìgenerousî social welfare system. Of course if any of the government ministers ever had to depend on it they would know just how ìgenerousî it actually is.
The truth is that they want us to believe this because then they can get away with treating asylum seekers as less than human. They believe that if they can make life as miserable as possible for asylum seekers, then some of them might leave. The problem is of course that having fled war, persecution or extreme poverty these people have nowhere to leave to.
They have come to Ireland seeking our help. Now they are to be treated as second-class citizens. Instead of being paid in cash by the Community Welfare Officers, they will be gven ìdirect provisionî.
This will inevitably mean:
If they get away with doing this to one group of people, who'll be next? The homeless?? Single parents?? The long-term unemployed??..
1. IT TAKES AWAY ALL FREEDOM OF CHOICE
* People are told where they must live. Having arrived in a strange country, they are put on buses and sent off, often not knowing where they are being sent to.
* No consideration is given to the fact that they may have family members or friends, or even just people from their own culture, who they would like to live close to.
* People are told what they must eat, often with no provision for ethnic diet, for dietary needs in relation to health, or even for simple choice over foods you might like or dislike.
* Being given only a small amount of "pocket money" (£15 per week), people are left with little choice over what to buy.....warm clothes?...new shoes?....a present for your child's birthday?
2. DETENTION CENTRES IN ALL BUT NAME
* Telling people where they must live is effectively holding them in detention centres
* The government appears to be taking its lead from the UK where asylum seekers are often held in appalling conditions in prison camps. This is only one step away.
* People will probably not be allowed to have overnight visitors, or indeed to visit friends/family and stay away overnight.
3.INCREASED RACIAL TENSIONS??
* What facilities/services are being put in place to ensure the asylum seekers' integration into the communities to which they are being moved? The answer is - none or very little.
* If possible racial tensions are to be avoided, facilities and resources (including language lessons etc.) must be put in place to facilitate this integration.
4.IF THEY CAN DO IT TO ONE GROUP......
* If we let the government away with treating one group of people in this discriminatory way, who'll be next? Are they going to gather up all the homeless people in Dublin and tell them to go off and live somewhere/anywhere else??
SAY NO TO THE INTRODUCTION OF 'DIRECT PROVISION'. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLITICIAN AND LET HIM/HER KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS
Leaflet issued by Anti Racism Campaign(ARC).